Blog Entry

Ohio State the best of a parity-filled field

Posted on: March 6, 2011 7:04 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2011 7:07 pm

Posted by Jeff Borzello

We’ve all heard the same thing this season: there are no “great” teams in college basketball, with the No. 1 ranking a revolving door and no one team separating itself from the rest of the pack.

While that may still be the case, we certainly have a favorite heading into the NCAA Tournament.

Ohio State proved on Sunday it is the team to beat right now, taking apart No. 10 Wisconsin in a dominant 93-65 victory that gave the Buckeyes the Big Ten title. Theyavenged an earlier 71-67 loss to the Badgers, a game that sprouted some bad blood between the two clubs.

After that contest, Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger said a Wisconsin fan spit in his face, an allegation to which Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan responded, “We won the game. Deal with it.” The Buckeyes wanted revenge from the opening tip, distributing towels to fans that read “Deal With It” and showing a pregame video with the same motto.

Fueled by seven points from Jon Diebler in a span of 49 seconds, Ohio State took a 22-15 lead and never looked back. The closest Wisconsin got in the second half was 59-48 with 12:48 remaining, but the Buckeyes responded with a 10-0 run to put the game out of reach. 

Diebler knocked down seven 3-pointers, finishing with 27 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Jared Sullinger dominated the paint with 22 points and eight boards. Freshman point guard Aaron Craft dished out six assists and held Jordan Taylor to a 2-for-9 shooting performance.

As a team, Ohio State shot an unbelievable 93.3 percent from 3-point range, going 14-for-15 from behind the arc.

When the Buckeyes are playing their best, there’s not a team in the country that can beat them. Their ceiling is simply higher than the ceiling of the rest of the national title contenders.

Sullinger is the nation’s most dominant inside player; Diebler might be the most dangerous 3-point shooter in the country; Craft provides defense and ball-handling off the bench; David Lighty is the arguably the best defender in America and the quintessential “glue guy”; and William Buford is lethal from mid-range and a future NBA player. Throw in Dallas Lauderdale’s defense and rebounding, and this team has everything a champion needs.

Looking for weaknesses? Good luck. Ohio State is the nation’s most efficient team according to The Buckeyes take care of the ball offensively and can hurt you inside and out. Defensively, they force turnovers as well as anyone in the country, but also have the best foul rate in the country.

Ohio State isn’t perfect – no one in college basketball is this season.

But heading into the postseason, the Buckeyes are clearly the favorite to cut down the nets in Houston.

Photo: US Presswire

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Category: NCAAB
Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: March 7, 2011 4:44 pm
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Since: Mar 11, 2009
Posted on: March 7, 2011 12:18 pm

Ohio State the best of a parity-filled field

All Season long I have watched as My Team Byu, was climbing the polls ...I watched as this team or that was #1, I watched the top 10 intently , there are Four teams I felt were Very good , not Dominent week in week out , but very good those teams were Ohio State, Pitt, SDSU & BYU. Right Ohio State & SDSU are playing the best ball Ohios State really Womped !!! Wisconsin they look #1. They look ready for the Big Dance, I'd love to see a SDSU/Ohio State game in the NCAA Tournament, I will Comment more after I see SDSU in the Mountain East Conference Tournament, As For My fav BYU they had a very good half of Basketball in the end Half othe Wyoming game Scoring 62 points and have all Cylinders of the engine firing, members of the team have one more warm up game against the Winner of the #8/#9 MWC Game on thursday at 12 Vegas time, BYU Comes into the conference the #1 seed in the MWC but, Its going to be one of the two best Conference Tournaments in the Country (Big East being the other). There are 6 teams SDSU,UNLV,Colo St,New Mexico, BYU, and Air Force that could win it all, 3 teams are in the NCAA from that Conference SDSU,BYU and UNLV but the fight will be for that fourth spot Clearly the Conference actually has 6 Teams that Could be Competitive and advance in this years tourney, but reality says maybe only 4 go.

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2011 12:11 pm

Ohio State the best of a parity-filled field

That being said, this years tournament is going to be wideeeeeee open.  This final four is going to be the hardest to predict.

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2011 12:08 pm

Ohio State the best of a parity-filled field

i don't know how someone can say that ohio state isn't a great team when they are 29-2 and their two loses came on the road in two of the hardest venues to play at in the country.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2011 11:58 am
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Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2011 11:24 am

Ohio State the best of a parity-filled field

Full disclosure, I am an OSU alum.  My biggest fear is they play a game with tight officiating.  They do have a very limited bench, and if the y lose Sullinger to foul trouble or Buford they can be beaten any team that woul be  a 5 seed or better.  However I like their chances as much as anyone elses I've seen play this yr to cut down the nets.

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2011 9:15 am

Ohio State the best of a parity-filled field

Sincerely, props to the Kansas fans on this thread: your class proves that you are winners, and you act like you have been here before. I tip my cap to you and your program.

To the Miami fan: your rent is due. OSU owns you, and I am already looking forward to another football beatdown next year in Miami.

Since: May 10, 2010
Posted on: March 7, 2011 8:10 am

Ohio State the best of a parity-filled field

Syracuse could beat a number of teams that are among the best seeds in the NCAA Tournament, sure.  There are no teams who are head-and-shoulders better than the field.  But do not tell me that Syracuse could beat a Kansas or Ohio State team handily.  Kansas' depth and length would prevent it.  And Ohio State...have you watched them play at all this year?  In each of their two losses they lost to a better team than Syracuse on the road, the first being by what 5 point?  The second being after a 15 point halftime lead?  Syracuse may be able win some tournament games, but maybe not.  You are right, it will be a wild ride, even wilder when followers use clumsy phrasing like "I could see Syracuse beating both Ohio State and Kansas pretty handily..."  Emphasis on handily, nice try...

Since: Feb 12, 2010
Posted on: March 7, 2011 5:22 am

Ohio State the best of a parity-filled field

It's definitely a wide-open field. For example, I could see Syracuse beating both Ohio State and Kansas pretty handily, but losing to much lesser teams before even getting a crack at the aforementioned powers. It's going to be a wild ride.

Since: Dec 29, 2010
Posted on: March 7, 2011 4:27 am

Ohio State the best of a parity-filled field

"10 bucks says they are the first team upset... Its the law of the Universe... as soon as people from Ohio start to run their mouths... their teams lose."

So miamivice, are you saying that Ohio State is going to lose to a 16 seed or that there will be zero upsets in the entire first round?  I find either of those highly unlikely and would like to take you up on your $10 (theoretical, of course) bet.

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